A powerful force of nature
The creative mind
Your passions cannot be suppressed. Oh yes, they can be ignored. They can even be marginalized. Often, passions are criticized by others or, worse yet, by ourselves. Whatever the case may be, our passions are often overlooked in the face of so-called higher priorities that are often easier to address or offer more immediate satisfaction. But lurking way down deep are passions that will continually force their way to the surface. It’s a powerful force of nature, fueled by the creative mind.
In some of us, passionate forces are very strong, and in others perhaps not so much. Or maybe passionate forces are equally strong in us all and just acknowledged by a few—the creative. Well, for the artist, this can represent a battlefield of emotion torn between satisfying a paying audience and letting go of the fear of losing that audience in the face of embracing and honoring personal passions, that powerful and unabated force of nature.
This is a conversation about all of us.
As a casual observer, I’ve come to realize that Mary’s creativity is like a volcano. Below the surface, there exists a vast reservoir of creative energy that is waiting to explode. One moment, the surface is calm, and then a blast of inspiration will erupt. Mary's recent collection of Floral Animal Art is a great example of how swiftly creative energy can develop over the course of only a few days. Mary worked continuously on this project completing the series in just a few weeks.
But then, as quickly as the creative explosion occurs, it dissipates into a milieu of priorities, mixed feelings of doubt, and questions about the next creative burst that may be ready to explode just below the surface. These reflective periods can last for a while. Sometimes they are challenging. Requests for new material to license; packaging and shipping of completed projects; maintaining visibility on social media; and incoming requests for commissioned work. It all sounds like a thriving business!
The truth is that calls for fresh content for licensed work frequently diverge significantly from Mary's true creative interests. Artwork shipping and packing are most definitely not in line with her creative interests. Social media posting and interaction with followers can be amusing, but it takes effort to write a piece that will be interesting to her audience and relevant to their interests. Despite a connection to art, all of these jobs are in fact just that—tasks. They do not support Mary's drive to produce art that is inspired by her personal passions.
Work and true personal passions can be easily distinguished from one another. True personal passions can be difficult to honor. It can be challenging to manage the emotions that surface when one's passions are neglected. It can be equally challenging to deal with the emotions that develop when work obligations are neglected. Understanding how to balance job obligations with time for personal passions is key.
For all of us, now is the time to pause our busy schedules and ask what really matters to us. Mary has often said that we are all artists. Her words can be taken literally or figuratively; it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we take time for ourselves and recognize that powerful force of nature—our creative minds.
Looking ahead, I'll be writing about one of Mary's passions: painting Vintage Women using old photos that friends from her hometown in eastern North Carolina gave her as inspiration. See you soon.